As automation and AI develop at an ever-increasing pace what role can humans expect to play?
It is not going to be long before many of the more mundane, formulaic and processes where a programme can be extrapolated will be done by machines. It is already happening in many industries including the financial services sector with the markets, banking and investment houses replacing a huge number of people in traditional roles with computers that can do the same tasks in a fraction of the time. They are autonomous, never sleep, don’t require rest or holidays and, after the initial outlay, are pretty cheap to maintain. So in this technological age do we still need a person on the workforce?
There is still one thing that the machines cannot yet do. They can only follow a set of instructions and, however complicated these instructions may be, they cannot act or react creatively. Us humans are still very much the driving force in that regard and that is where our productive future lies.
A creative person is very employable and creative thinking is a valuable skill
It therefore seems logical that we should concentrate our efforts on developing and enhancing our creative thinking processes and creativity in general to remain relevant to our workforce and job market well into the future.
Not all of us are gifted in this area. The way we are educated and grow up, conforming to the requirements of modern industry as it stands now, means that a lot of our natural talent and creativity are stunted. Our ability to day dream, speculate and not be bounded by the status quo play havoc with what is expected of us at work and are therefore not encouraged. We weren’t educated to develop this skill as it is the current education system’s job to churn out more of the same types of people to fill the jobs that exist currently and not really concern itself with what the future might look like. If you are not naturally creative can you learn to be a creative person?
There are a few that manage to keep their creativity intact. Great artists, composers, ground-breaking scientists, inventors – people who refuse to accept the norm and use their inquisitiveness and curiosity to keep exploring, pushing the boundaries and developing the most amazing results and objects. However, most of us can only watch, hear of or see what they produce and are in awe of their gifts and, in some cases, jealously think ‘why couldn’t/didn’t I think of that’.
I believe we can.
Being a creative person is a skill we can develop
Think back to when you were a child. We were all one once and I’ve written before about how we should try and recapture some of our wonderment from that time to help us in adulthood. We weren’t concerned or worried about the rules, what others would say, what our limitations were. We were happy to daydream, invent, explore and investigate whatever was in front of us or popped into our heads. Despite a few bumps, scrapes and bruises we carried out our experiments, probing what was possible and what wasn’t (unless or until our parents stopped us). I was always fascinated by how things worked inside their casings and was forever taking things like clocks apart to find out (never managed to put them back together the same way, always had ‘spares’ left over and they often didn’t work again).
And it is the memory of this that haunts me still. I have been doing a lot of reading and research recently into how we might safely re-ignite our own creativity spark and in my next article I’ll share what I have discovered thus far.
The good news…it would appear that it wouldn’t take very much effort and can be achieved. Being a creative person starts with a willingness to believe it is possible…read more next week.